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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/3132

Title: Actuation and control of microfabricated structures using flagellated bacteria
Authors: Steager, Edward Brian
Keywords: Mechanical engineering;Flagella (Microbiology);Micrurgy
Issue Date: 8-Oct-2009
Abstract: In this work methods of actuation and control of microfabricated structures are investigated using bacteria as configurable, scalable actuators. Bacteria offer many benefits as microfluidic actuators. They draw chemical energy directly from their environment, they can be operated in a wide range of temperature and pH, and literally billions of bacteria may be cultured within hours. Additionally, the well-documented responses of individual motile bacterial cells may be expected to scale up to arrays of cells. On this population scale, the cellular responses can be employed en masse creating controlled forces that actuate inorganic microfabricated elements. For these investigations the bacterium Serratia marcescens has been chosen. S. marcescens has properties that are particularly appropriate for engineering applications. When cultured on soft agar, the bacteria demonstrate a form of surface motility known as swarming. These investigations start with an experimental analysis of the swarming cell motility using a non-labeled cell tracking technique. The results of these studies reveal that the most energetic bacteria populate the progressing edge of the swarm. A technique of biocompatible microfabrication and chemical release of bacteria-driven microstructures is also presented. This method is used to pattern structure surfaces with the rigorous swarming cells by direct blotting. The self-coordinated motion of the cells is investigated for use as arrays of actuators. Control mechanisms are investigated to adjust rotational and translational motion using optical and electrical stimuli, respectively. The fundamentals of the electrokinetics are also investigated and integrated into a system demonstrating controlled manipulation of target objects and phenotypic chemical sensing.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/3132
Appears in Collections:Drexel Theses and Dissertations

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